Courtney Cuff, Executive Director, State Impact Project
Courtney Cuff is the Executive Director of the State Impact Project, a multi-state effort designed to advance progressive economic and democracy policies through strategic investments. She has over 20 years experience working in social change fields, including experience in advocacy, campaigning, coalition building, and philanthropy.
Prior to running the State Impact Project, she spent several years as the President and CEO of the Gill Foundation. Gill is one of the leading funders of LGBT work nationally, and is committed to securing equal opportunity for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. At Gill, Cuff led the team in strategic grantmaking designed to advance LGBTQ issues through state and national investments. She helped guide the foundation into new modalities after the movement won marriage, with a focus on advancing nondiscrimination protections through state-based coalitions.
Before running the Gill Foundation, she was CEO of the Western Conservation Foundation, which she cofounded in 2005 and grew into an organization with a budget of $8 million. She has also worked as the Director of the Pacific Regional Office of the National Parks Conservation Association and as Legislative Director of Friends of the Earth.
A native of Georgia, Courtney is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in sociology, and also completed an MBA executive course in social entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Courtney is also a certified sommelier with a diploma of wine from the International Sommelier Guild. She lives in Boulder with her wife, two sons, their dog and three goats.
Crystal Potter Rivera, Board Vice Chair and Manager of Foundation Relations, Denver Health Foundation
Crystal Potter Rivera’s professional career spans 16 years working in nonprofit fundraising, communications and program development. This includes six years at a senior level within organizations, managing complex nonprofit development programs, and six years as a nonprofit management consultant specializing in fundraising. Crystal has generated significant funds from foundations, corporations and individual donors for a range of nonprofits diverse in size and scope, including Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, Jared Polis Foundation’s Academy of Urban Learning, Mile High United Way and Summer Scholars. In 2012, Crystal became the Manager of Foundation Relations for the Denver Health Foundation, where she is responsible for managing local and national grants totaling $4-6M annually.
As a volunteer, Crystal has served as a mentor for the Circle of Latina Leadership, on the communications committee for Colorado Black Women for Political Action, on the board of the Denver Foundation’s Colorado Nonprofit Loan Fund, and as a cook and community gardener with the St Barnabas Church Sharing Table initiative. She is currently on the board of Denver’s Center for African-American Health. She is a Denver native and holds a BA in sociology from Columbia University in New York.
Gwen Benevento, Maven Law Group
Ms. Benevento is Of Counsel at Maven Law Group, where she advises clients on legal and legislative matters before all branches of state and local government. She represents corporations, non-profits, and political candidates on federal, state, and local activities. She also represents clients on state and local ballot measures and advises federal and state candidates and elected officials. She also advises corporate clients on various matters, including corporate compliance. She previously practiced in these areas as Of Counsel at Holland & Hart, LLP.
As former Chief Legal Counsel to Colorado Governor Bill Owens, she directed a wide range of legal, policy, and legislative matters. Her office was responsible for managing and directing state litigation, negotiation and oversight of state contracts, managing the appointment of state judges, drafting and implementing executive orders, managing the governor’s disaster emergency and response program, and implementing state legal and policy initiatives on a wide variety of matters. She is well-versed in telecommunications, energy, transportation, and administrative law within Colorado. Having served as Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Wayne Allard, Ms. Benevento is also able to advocate within the Beltway. Her combination of experience, legal knowledge and intricate familiarity of the legislative process at the local, state, and federal levels position her well provide comprehensive advisory and advocacy services to her clients.
She earned her J.D. in 2002 from the University of Colorado School of Law, and her B.A., cum laude, in 1994 from Colorado State University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa.
Orlando Padilla, Jr., Denver Regional Director of Shelters at Catholic Charities
Orlando Padilla, Jr. is Denver Regional Director of Shelters at Catholic Charities, where he directs the activities of Samaritan House, Women’s Emergency Shelter and Marisol Homes. Samaritan House is a program that provides community supports that include emergency women’s shelter and temporary family housing for individuals furthest from opportunity. Other services provided are case management, independent living, vocational and prevention groups. Marisol Homes provides bridge housing for single mothers and their children, while also providing clinical case management, parenting and psychoeducation groups. Formerly, he was Associate Director of Child and Family Access Services at the Mental Health Center of Denver, where he oversaw the Integrated Care, Child and Family Access and Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs.
Orlando is a Colorado Native and grew up in Trinidad Colorado. He has over 20 years of experience working with others across the lifespan in a variety of settings that include inpatient hospitals, residential facilities, as well as outpatient and community mental health. He graduated from Colorado State University in 2000 with his B.A. in Psychology and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2007 with a Master’s in Clinical Counseling. Orlando also holds the professional license of a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Mike Dino, Senior Policy Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs, LLP
Mike Dino is a Colorado native and government affairs specialist and has 23 years of experience advising public sector clients on matters pertaining to local, state and federal governments. He assists clients in developing and implementing strategies that help them achieve their policy objectives with public officials. Mr. Dino focuses primarily on relationship development activities, network building and issues management. He works extensively with local government clients, counseling them on funding and partnering opportunities with federal government agencies.
From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Dino was the CEO of the Denver Convention Host Committee where he headed up a team that raised $55 million, managed 14,000 volunteers, and produced events hosting 50,000 Democratic National Convention guests. He served as a senior aide to Denver Mayor Wellington Webb from 1991 to 1997. He is also a political campaign expert, having been a top executive or advisor in local, state and national campaigns. In 2003, Mr. Dino was the campaign chair for Denver’s mayor, John Hickenlooper. In 2006, he was a campaign advisor to Colorado Governor, Bill Ritter, and participated in the transition team for information technology matters.
Jim García, MPA, Executive Director, Clínica Tepeyac
Jim García has been actively involved in Denver’s non-profit community for the past 24 years and has worked in various leadership capacities for a wide range of health and human service organizations. Jim received his undergraduate degree from Regis University and his Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. He is recognized as an expert in developing high level collaborative partnerships with a broad spectrum of community and governmental organizations for the purpose of addressing health disparities. In 1994, Jim founded Clínica Tepeyac, a community-based health center that provides primary care health services, behavioral health services and health education to Metro Denver’s medically underserved, predominantly Latino population. In 2011, Jim was appointed as the Executive Director of Clínica Tepeyac.
Jim serves on several Boards including the Mile High Health Alliance, Colorado Health Foundation, Mental Health America Colorado and the Denver Board of Environmental Health. Additionally, he was appointed by former Governor Bill Ritter to serve as a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission. Earlier in his career, Jim worked as a staff member for former Senator Tim Wirth and as a Senior Policy Advisor for former Governor Roy Romer.
Pete Maysmith, Senior Vice President, League of Conservation Voters
Pete Maysmith is the Executive Director of Conservation Colorado, whose mission is to protect Colorado’s environment and quality of life by mobilizing people and electing conservation-minded policymakers. He has a long background in political organizing work, beginning immediately upon graduating from Duke University in 1991. Over the course of the last 25 years, Mr. Maysmith has: organized at the ground level, run state and national field campaigns, lobbied at the city, state and national level, completed extensive earned media work, directed statewide candidate and ballot campaigns, run a statewide nonprofit, and served as senior leadership staff of several national organizations.
From 1998 to 2007, Mr. Maysmith worked for Common Cause, serving as the executive director of Colorado Common Cause from 2001 to 2006. He has also been a partner with Confluence Strategies. He completed an evening law degree from the University of Denver in December of 2008, graduating with honors.
John Marshall, Board Chair and Vice President for Student Services at Colorado Mesa University (CMU)
John Marshall is currently the Vice President for Student Services at Colorado Mesa University (CMU)—a mid-sized comprehensive public university in Grand Junction, Colorado. In this capacity, Mr. Marshall reports directly to the University President and is responsible for all student services, including the University Center, Housing and Residence Life, Financial Aid, Student Life and Activities, student health clinic services, student mental health services, diversity and advocacy, and campus safety/police. He is also a lecturer of Political Science.
Prior to his current role managing student services, Mr. Marshall served as the institution’s Director of Development, responsible for all private fundraising and gift management at the University. Before joining CMU, Mr. Marshall worked in politics and government, including serving as an assistant director of a state agency, as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor of Colorado, as well as managing both a nationally-targeted congressional campaign and a statewide gubernatorial campaign.
Mr. Marshall holds a B.A. from Colorado Mesa University, an M.P.A. from the University of Colorado Denver, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy and Administration (ABD). Mr. Marshall was selected as a 2012 Marshall Memorial Fellowship recipient (a European immersion program offered by the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.) and has been active in his community, serving on the board of directors for the Business Incubator Center, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Western Colorado Business Alliance, and multiple community-based prevention efforts regarding suicide and sexual assault.
Jayson Sime, Founder, Right to Shine LLC
Jayson is a wellness and transformation expert whose passion is helping people reach their full potential in all areas of their lives. He is the founder of Right to Shine LLC, which provides training and coaching to individuals and teams.
Prior to launching Right to Shine, Jayson spent sixteen years in politics. He managed Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell’s re-election campaign in 2006, one of the most competitive races that cycle. In 2008, Jayson built the infrastructure for the Nevada caucus, the first “early window” caucus in the history of the state. During this campaign, Jayson went to his first yoga class and discovered a new way to manage the stress of working in politics. He lost 75 pounds, stopped taking antidepressants, and became a yoga teacher. In 2010, Jayson decided to test if he could work on an intense campaign to re-elect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Senator Reid won re-election, and Jayson maintained his daily commitment to health and wellness.
Jayson has taught yoga around the world and has learned how other cultures use their own self-care techniques. After returning to Colorado in 2013, Jayson committed himself to helping people and organizations achieve better health and wellness. Jayson is currently enrolled to become a become a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. He continues to teach yoga, runs ultramarathons, and inspires people to become the best versions of themselves.
Karl Nieschburg, Compliance Officer of Prowers Medical Center
Karl Nieschburg is the Compliance Officer of Prowers Medical Center, a Special Health Services District in Lamar, Colorado, where he was born and raised. Karl oversees the compliance and ethics program for the district’s Critical Access Hospital, Rural Health Clinic, and home health agency. Karl’s everyday work deals with the effects of healthcare law and policy on organizations and patient care.
Karl has more than 16 years of experience in the fields of healthcare and education. Prior to becoming a compliance officer, he worked as a health coach and patient navigator, where he spent hundreds of hours listening to patients explain what barriers stood between them and their health goals. Karl was part of a successful collaboration in Prowers County to improve health outcomes using a community and patient-centered approach and funding provided by the Colorado Health Foundation, LiveWell Colorado, and Great Outdoors Colorado.
Karl has over a decade of experience in governance, and has been a director for several civic and community organizations, including a substance abuse treatment organization. Karl currently serves as a director of the Alta Vista Charter School, a 2019 recipient of the John Irwin Award for Excellence. Karl is certified in healthcare compliance (CHC) and healthcare privacy compliance (CHPC) from the Health Care Compliance Association, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society.
To view The Fund for a Healthier Colorado 501-(C)3 Board of Directors, click here.